NWMPHN’s Aboriginal Engagement Guide helps safe engagement

  25 March 2024  NWMPHN   

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at significantly higher risk than the broad population of poor health outcomes and constitute an important priority focus for North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN). 

As part of its commitment to work meaningfully with the cohort, the organisation commissioned Bundyi Girri Consulting, and Indigenous–led and owned firm, to advise on ways staff members can work with community members and associated health services.

The result is the NWMPHN Aboriginal Engagement Guide, which was published earlier this year.

The guide is part of the organisation’s Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2021-23, which has 3 core objectives:

  • To build staff capacity to develop and maintain relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations in a respectful, effective, and culturally safe way.
  • To ensure safety and competency so that all our engagement activities with Aboriginal people and organisations are informed and guided by the best-available information and resources and carried out in a culturally safe and competent manner.
  • To encourage our ways of working to be centred on Aboriginal peoples determining solutions and making the decisions on matters impacting their health outcomes.

The guide is underpinned by principles of self-determination, cultural safety, reflective practice, and a commitment to mutually beneficial relationships.

Although primarily developed as a tool to assist its own staff, the guide is also a useful resource for any other health care organisations wishing to reflect upon, and improve, engagement with First Nations people.

It can be found here.

For further information, please contact our Aboriginal health program officer, Alex Thomson.